Some people think the only way to succeed is to pull an all-nighter and write as fast as possible. If you’re not careful, this can backfire on you with a final draft full of errors and poorly structured arguments. We recommend breaking up the process over several days to give each section enough attention.
Decide what kind of essay you’re writing.
There are many different types of essays, and knowing how each is structured will help you approach the assignment more effectively. Here’s an overview:
- Argumentative essays—In this type of essay, students are tasked with proving a point by analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the assignment topic, they may also be asked to explain why certain points are true or false (or both).
An argumentative essay usually contains three parts: an introduction that gives background information; a body section that presents evidence related to the thesis statement; and a conclusion that summarizes key points and restates the thesis.
- Narrative essays—In these assignments, students recount their own experiences or share stories about others (usually fictional) who have lived through something similar to what they’re writing about (e.g., overcoming adversity). Narratives tend to follow an ordering structure known as “introduction-body-conclusion,” in which each paragraph builds upon previous ones until it reaches its climax in either an emotional high note or a logical low point before resolving itself in some way at the end (either by making your case for change or coming up with ways people can work past obstacles together).
Choose a topic you already know something about.
It is a good idea to create a list of interesting essay topics, then narrow them down according to what you are interested in so that you can stay focused and interested. If you choose to write about something relevant to your life and interests, you can create a clear thesis statement for your essay. Don’t worry if this sounds like it’s going to be difficult. When students are unsure of their interests or expertise, there are many ways in which they can explore them.
Develop a thesis statement
A good essay begins with a clear, concise thesis statement that can be supported by evidence. Thesis statements are not merely one-sentence summaries of the content; they must also contain a specific argument related to your topic. Ideally, you will use your thesis statement to guide how you structure the rest of your paper and which sources you choose to cite in support of it.
While it may take some time to develop this final sentence (or two or three), thinking through these aspects now will help ensure that your essay flows smoothly once you begin writing.
Write the first draft of your essay.
The first step to writing a great essay is a rough draft. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or length at this point—just get your ideas down on paper as quickly as possible.
The best way to do this is by writing in a “stream of consciousness” style: let thoughts flow onto the page without editing them too closely, and then go back later and make all the edits you need.
This can be difficult if you aren’t used to it! But trust me: it’s worth it and will help keep stress levels down while writing the first draft of your essay (which I’ll talk more about in a minute).
Read your essay out loud.
Reading your essay out loud is one of the best ways to catch errors. Listen for words that sound odd or don’t fit in with the rest of your sentence as you read. If a word sounds wrong, chances are that it’s incorrect.
Additionally, if you’re unsure what a word means, chances are it needs to be changed out for something more appropriate. Finally, if reading certain phrases makes you pause because they don’t sound right when spoken aloud—even though they look fine on paper—then change them!
One important thing: never be afraid to ask for help when needed! Even though I’m confident in my writing abilities, I still get nervous before big exams or when I’m facing difficult assignments like these essays—but just because something seems difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our hardest to accomplish it! So if thinking about tackling an essay makes your stomach twist into knots (like mine), don’t worry—just take a deep breath and remind yourself that everything will be okay once we get started.
We hope you feel more confident about tackling your next essay. Writing an essay doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but it does require some planning and attention to detail.
Once you’ve chosen the right topic, developing a thesis statement and outline, written the first draft of your essay, and read it out loud (to catch any errors), all that’s left is proofreading!
Carmen Troy is a research-based content writer, who works for Cognizantt, a globally recognized professional SEO service and Research Prospect; an 论文和论文写作服务 Mr Carmen holds a PhD degree in mass communication. He loves to express his views on various issues, including education, technology, and more.